I posted this on my dcsunsets Tumblr about a year ago but decided to revise it a bit today. (See original post here.) I have here a descriptive list of five different Catholic profiles, because everyone knows that not all of us are the same. For those of you who are new to Catholic culture, you’ll find that there’s a little bit more to your friendly neighborhood Catholic that meets the eye. Enjoy!
- - -
1. Newman Catholics, the Pope-Francis-Cover-Photo, ‘guise I just love Dominicans’, profile photo with the Archbishop, Matt-Maher blasting Jesus lovers. These are the friends who know the anticipated date of your favorite Blessed in Heaven, or details about the Pope’s upcoming encyclicals or ‘the Cardinal’s presiding over this Sunday’s Mass’ events. They’ve pretty much mastered apologetics, and they know the CCC from cover to cover. They’ve got at least six priest and nun friends on their speed dials and always have a Rosary in their pockets. These are the guys you want to go to when you want to know the latest in Catholic news or when you feel like listening to someone rant about how awesome the faith is from time to time.
2. Advocacy Catholics. These are the ones who probably do have a profile photo with the Archbishop, but it’s probably under the current “I Choose Life” posters they’ve plastered on their Facebook walls. These are your Catholic friends whose Facebook statuses are always flooded with debates, whose resumes are filled with “volunteered at Catholic Charities/Emergency Pregnancy Crisis Center” sorts of work. Their constant Facebook invitations to follow ‘Cassie Pease Designs’, ‘Life Teen’, ‘Becket Fund for Religious Liberty’, or ‘Imagine Sisters’ are getting annoying, but it’s good that they’re always on top of these things in the media. They can argue both theologically and secularly, and they’re the ones who sent out the ‘HABEMUS PAPI’ text the second the white smoke appeared.
3. Latin-Tridentine-Catholics, the ones you don’t really hear from anymore because they’ve deactivated their Facebooks and can only be reached via email or by tapping them on the shoulder after the 5AM Mass at the Friary. You can’t invite them out for breakfast afterward because they’re fasting on bread and water until the end of their Divine Mercy novenas. These friends are the prayer warriors and Mass ninjas who sing in the Gregorian Chant choir and are masked under their veils at the Tridentine Mass. Now these friends are especially cool because when they tell you they’ll pray for you, they’re praying for your Purgatory time to lessen and offering twelve holy hours for you. After saying a five-minute prayer in Latin before eating their meals, feel free to ask them about their opinions of Opus Dei/Neocatechumenal Way, and be ready for an earful. After hanging out with these guys, you feel like you just finished a five-day retreat in the wilderness and the Lord.
4. FOCUS Catholics. These guys are really lighthearted, easy to talk to, and for some reason are always free for coffee whenever you call them. They probably have a leather-bound Ignatian Bible, are still discerning their vocation though it’s been five years, and for some reason always manage to bring a new friend to Mass each week. These are the friends that you’d introduce to someone who is skeptical about the faith, because they’re the most inviting, welcoming, and basically the coolest Catholics you know. What’s nice about these guys is that when you’re going through a spiritual slump or are a bit confused on your life journey, they have the best guidance and you feel like you’re talking to a Priest or something even though they’re just normal laypeople like you are. Usually found with a beard, a guitar, or a Franciscan cross (the one that looks like a T). They probably have multiple copies of ‘How to Find Your Soulmate Without Losing Your Soul’ and have more than once quoted St. Catherine of Siena’s ‘you will set the world on fire’ spiel on their Facebook statuses.
5. Casual-but-cool Catholics. These Catholics never fail to cross themselves when passing by a Church, and might have accidentally genuflected before entering the seats of a movie theater. These guys are usually seen giving up chocolate for Lent, hanging a rosary in their rearview mirrors, and watching Passion of the Christ every Good Friday. They tried CatholicMatch for a second, but it wasn’t really their thing. Although these friends haven’t yet thought about how their relationship with Jesus Christ has changed their lives, haven’t ever joined a Bible Study, and probably don’t post Scripture verses on their Facebook statuses, you know that these are the friends who will always be down to pray a Rosary or go to Mass with you.
What kind of Catholic are you?